Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
All the filling stations in Asaba, the Delta State capital and other parts of the state have complied fully with the new hike in the price of petrol or premium motor spirit (PMS).
The only Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) mega station in the state situated on the Benin-Asaba-Onitsha expressway Asaba now displays a new price list showing that petrol now sells for N145 per litre.
Kerosene was, however, out of stock at the mega station yesterday although the noticeboard said the product sells for N83 per litre.
More filling stations operated by major as well as those run by independent marketers which remained shut on Thursday, a day after the price increment announced by the Federal Government, were open to customers yesterday.
Although, most of the stations in Asaba and environs were not selling petrol on Thursday, a day after the new price was announced by the government, as they claim they had no supplies, practically all of them had the product and were selling to motorists at the weekend, about 24 hours later.
Queues have suddenly disappeared from practically all filling stations visited by our correspondent within Asaba metropolis and adjoining areas except for fairly long queues observed at the NNPC mega station.
THISDAY learnt that many motorists had gone to the mega station with the expectation that the station would sell petrol a little below N145 per litre but were disappointed that the price was the same as all the other filling stations.
Complaints by motorists and respondents who spoke with THISDAY revolved around the rippling efforts the huge price hike (about N60 per litre) would have on transport fares as well as food and other basic domestic items and medicines and health services due to the already biting inflation in Nigeria.
The views of Mrs. Rosemary Nwaebuni, a worker and mother who lives in Asaba, probably summed it up: “Certainly, fuel increase will have ripple effects in all the sectors of the economy and, indeed, our aspect of life of the average Nigerian, food and health not exempted. Transporting the food, payment of hospital staff and even powering of hospital generators for surgery and so on. Power supply has reduced drastically that you must need fuel….everything will definitely be affected by the fuel price increment.”